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Posted On: 11/21/18 1:03 PM
Taking advantage of the early start to the season and a spectacular venue, Montgomery High Head Coach Ed Martin organized a quality kickoff tournament in the South Bay, the San Diego Tip-Off Challenge. The four-day event pitted seven of San Diego’s top 25 programs – and one powerhouse from Southern California.
Guess who came out on top?
Sierra Canyon, the No. 1 ranked team in California according to several preseason rankings, laid waste to the field, en route to an 86-40 route of San Diego’s No. 2 ranked team, St. Augustine, in the championship game.
The Trailblazers three-game run was so dominant that Martin named the entire team MVP of the event.
We’ll try to spread the love a little bit more here, naming our standouts in a series of “Five” reports.
Next up, the “next five.”
Anchoring Sierra Canyon’s defensive effort was Koloko, a rangy, long shot blocker and overall havoc creator on defense. Koloko’s ability on the defensive end is unique: He sat at the top of the Trailblazers 1-2-2 trap and made life miserable for guards advancing the ball. If opponents did get past the trap, he would race back to the rim and protect it from all challengers. Offensively he has ways to go, but the Arizona commit’s defense and motor will earn him time on the floor for any team.
Paranada opened up the tournament’s opening minutes treating the LA contingent to some of the highlights we’ve seen him regularly produce in San Diego. Elusive and crafty, Paranada shook free of defenders to hit some highlight-reel jump shots – one from mid-range against Scotty Pippen Jr. and the other a stepback on the capable L Simpson. Paranada’s shot selection is questionable at times (hurled a couple from the volleyball lines), but when the 2019 prospect is scoring off the bounce and from deep, Montgomery is a tough out.
Holmes had a solid opening weekend as the unquestioned leader of John Singer’s crew. The 2020 prospect possesses a smooth game and can get to his spots with little effort, and has nice lift and release on his jump shot. Holmes’ main issue is his passiveness at times on the court. While he has shortened the stretches where he has little impact on the game, he still goes through spells where he doesn’t crash the boards or make himself available on offense.
Santa Fe Christian actually gave Sierra Canyon its closest game of the tournament, and Pagon was a big reason why. The Virginia transfer is an assertive slasher who can score at the rim through contact, and draws a lot of fouls as a result. He embodies the Eagles approach: play hard, move well without the basketball and be tough on defense. He has an unorthodox shot, and as a result he’s an inconsistent shooter from deep. But his slashing and toughness make him a nice college prospect at the D3 or NAIA level.
The son of NBAer Chris Dudley came through with one of his best outings of the season in the third-place rout of Sweetwater, in which he stuffed the stat sheet. He scored 11-points, had five rebounds, four steals and several assists. He’s dramatically improved his jump shooting from just a season ago, and is active in the passing lanes, corralling steals that led to Eagles transition buckets. Coming off the bench, Dudley (a 2020 prospect) provides the Eagles with a nice weapon on both ends.